World Fair Trade Day 2023 - What is Fair Trade & Why Does it Matter?

World Fair Trade Day 2023 - What is Fair Trade & Why Does it Matter?


Every year on the second Saturday of May, people around the world come together to celebrate World Fair Trade Day. This annual event recognizes the contributions of the Fair Trade movement to the fight against poverty, exploitation, and climate change. Fair Trade is all about ensuring that workers across the globe are treated fairly with decent wages and working conditions. It is a movement that aims to protect those who are most vulnerable in society and to provide them with economic security and opportunities.

The history of World Fair Trade Day dates back to the 1940s, when a woman named Edna Ruth Byler sold textiles from the trunk of her car. Byler went to the La Plata Valley in Puerto Rico and met a woman who was struggling to feed her family after the Depression. Byler noticed all of the fine embroideries the women in the area created and thought of expanding their business by selling their work to her friends and neighbors. This small act of kindness eventually became the Ten Thousand Villages business, which helped to create economic security for the women of the La Plata Valley and inspired others to join the Fair Trade movement.

In the 1950s, Fair Trade began to gain traction around the world. The first Fair Trade Organization was created in 1964, with initiatives to help worker relations between Chinese Refugees in Oxfam shops that were selling crafts to the UK. Then, in 1967, the Fair Trade Original was established in the Netherlands with similar initiatives. In 1989, The World Fair Trade Organization was created. The organization holds yearly conferences for groups working in Fair Trade to decide on the best practices pertaining to working conditions, and in 2004 they created World Fair Trade Day. The continuing goal is to fight against poverty and exploitation, climate change and the economic crisis to ensure that those who are most vulnerable in society are protected.

Fair Trade Federation members, who are based in the United States and Canada, fully commit to several principles in all of their transactions. They include cultivating new market opportunities, developing transparent and accountable relationships, building capacity, promoting Fair Trade, paying promptly and fairly, supporting safe and empowering working conditions, and ensuring the rights of children. Members collaborate with marginalized communities to nurture equitable social and economic opportunities by growing market access.

Fair Trade also involves relationships that are open, fair, consistent, respectful, and value an equitable distribution of power. Members actively raise awareness about Fair Trade and the possibility of greater justice in the global economic system. By adhering to these principles, Fair Trade organizations work to ensure that workers around the world are treated fairly and with dignity.

World Fair Trade Day is an important day to celebrate the contributions of the Fair Trade movement. It began with small acts of kindness, and it has now grown into a global effort to create economic security and opportunities for marginalized communities. 

World Fair Trade Day Celebration in Albuquerque

On Saturday, May 13, HoonArts will be joining with New Mexico's only other Fair Trade Federation member to celebrate World Fair Day in Albuquerque. Join us for a cocktail hour and short presentation to learn more about what “fair trade” is and why it matters to New Mexico and beyond. This event is co-sponsored by our new partner, UN-17, a New Mexico nonprofit organization.

UN-17's mission says it all:

Our commitment is to foster a culture of ethical corporation and social responsibility by uniting the leading organizations in New Mexico. We are proving through the private sector  and the adoption of practices such as the 17-goals, we not only strengthen the bottom line, but solve New Mexico's leading issues like, poverty, inequality, education, economic growth and timely innovation. Through our strategic partnerships we can provide our members with the resources needed to reach their goals in corporate responsibility and encourage an "Ethical Revolution" that can enhance the lives of everyone.    

During the event, Cael Chappell, founder of Baskets of Africa, and Rikki Quintana, founder of HoonArts, will explain how the fair trade principles align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. We will also share lessons learned from our unique international fair trade businesses about the value of including people and planet in the business equation that can be applied locally to business in New Mexico.

After our brief presentation, you’ll have time for Q & A and the opportunity to do a little shopping for unique handmade fashion, home decor and gifts from Central Asia.

Here's the schedule:
4:00-4:30: Cocktail hour (with first drink provided by UN-17)
4:30-4:45: Our short presentation
4:30-5:00: Q & A
5:00-6:00: Shopping

The event will be held at:
UN-17 Lounge
417 Coal Ave. SW (Entry at Back)
Albuquerque, NM 

Parking is available behind the building (enter from the alley on 5th Street) and in the parking lot at the Corner of Coal and 5th Avenue (see map below).

We look forward to seeing you there!



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